Predicting The Fifth College Football Playoff Rankings

  1. Clemson 11-1
  2. Oklahoma 11-1
  3. Auburn 10-2
  4. Wisconsin 12-0
  5. Georgia 11-1
  6. Alabama 11-1
  7. Miami 10-1
  8. Ohio State 10-2
  9. Penn State 10-2
  10. USC 10-2
  11. TCU 10-2
  12. UCF 11-0
  13. Notre Dame 9-3
  14. Washington 10-2
  15. Michigan State 9-3
  16. LSU 9-3
  17. Stanford 9-3
  18. Washington State 9-3
  19. Oklahoma State 9-3
  20. Memphis 10-1
  21. Mississippi State 8-4
  22. Northwestern 9-3
  23. Virginia Tech 9-3
  24. Fresno State 9-3
  25. San Diego State 10-2

Breakdown of the Patriots Thursday Night Win

The Patriots pulled off a close win when they beat the Buccaneers 19-14 on the road on Thursday Night Football. It wasn’t pretty, but they showed that they made adjustments they didn’t make in previous games, leading them to a victory.

After a shocking loss against the Panthers at home in Week 4, the Pats looked to bounce back on a short week against the Bucs. Before the game, it was revealed that CB Eric Rowe and DL Alan Branch would be inactive, taking away a couple of key players on that already thin Patriots defense. The Bucs had a couple of players in their secondary listed on the inactive report also, thinning up that part of their defense. But the biggest inactive player listed was Rob Gronkowski, who was out with a thigh injury. Knowing his history of prolonged and pretty serious injuries, the Pats weren’t going to take the chance in start him on a short week. So Brady had the luxury of playing against a depleted Bucs secondary, but was missing his biggest target. However, he’s dealt with this sort of situation pretty well in the past, and it continued for the most part on Thursday night.

The Pats’ first half was a bit sloppy on the offensive side of the ball. It started with Tom Brady‘s first interception of the season that missed a wide open Chris Hogan on their first drive of the game. Then later on, he had Brandin Cooks for a first down, but the ball was dropped resulting in a 3 and out for the offense. Later they started a drive on their own 2-yard line, but Brady being Brady charged 89 yards down the field, with the drive ending with a field goal. We then got a sniff of that frustrating Pats defense as their rush defense just couldn’t make a play on Doug Martin or any of the featured backs. With the help of a couple of penalties on the Pats, the Bucs were able to score a TD on a rush from Martin.

After that, both sides of the ball seem to settle in. Brady threw a TD to Hogan the next drive and the defense was doing enough to keep Jameis Winston from burning them. Probably the biggest issue, overall and in this half, was that the Pats could not finish a big drive. Instead of possibly getting 21 points, they had to settle for 13, which probably had a hand in how the rest of the game was conducted. It would just all of a sudden shut down once they reached the red zone. The loss of Gronk could’ve possibly contributed to that as he was the guy that helped move the chains. The Bucs couldn’t really move the ball after Martin’s TD and they thought they had something going in the final seconds of the half, but ended with Nick Folk missing a 56-yard field goal. Brady ended the half with almost 200 yards through the air, 1 TD and 1 interception. Not a typical half for him in comparison to what he’s usually had this season, but was enough to help them go into the locker room with a lead.

I think one thing that made this game so close, and probably prevented the Pats from extending their drives in the second half, was the play of their offensive line. In terms of this season it’s been pretty bad, allowing already more sacks than they allowed in all of last year. The O-line didn’t have much success this game either, allowing 3 sacks and a crucial fumble. After forcing Winston to make bad throws for most of the game, the Pats D seemed to tire out in the 4th quarter. The run defense had a hard time mustering up anything on their end and guys like DeSean Jackson for the Bucs, were finally breaking through with big plays. The Pats offense just kept stalling and stalling, giving the Bucs a chance to come back in this game. Although Jameis Winston threw for 300+ yards and a TD, he seems quite erratic and bailed out the Pats D at times. As I mentioned earlier, he was forced to throw on the run and he had trouble consistently throwing it accurately, which hurt the team in the long run. But the biggest factor in the Pats win was Nick Folk. He missed a 49-yard field goal in the beginning of the 4th quarter and missed 31-yard cheap shot. All of them were way off, which put a damper on his confidence and the team’s rhythm.

I like the effort the Pats D showed in this game. The tackling for the most part was better and they didn’t allow Winston to pick them apart. I didn’t like the fact that they gave the Bucs a chance to comeback with less than a minute left and no timeouts to come back with two very idiotic roughing the passer penalties. I don’t know what Belichick would’ve done if they ended up losing it on a last second touchdown. I also liked that Brady seemed to have simplified the offense for the most part, making it easier for guys to make plays and move the football across the field.  The Pats now travel to face the Jets on the road, who have won 3 straight since getting killed by Raiders in Week 2 and that have looked better than most have expected.

Winners and Losers from Steelers – Jaguars

The Steelers lost at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-9 in one of the worst losses in Heinz Field history. The offense was a disaster and the defense wasn’t much better. What have we learned from this game? Let’s look at the winner and losers:


Antonio Brown

Throughout this season, Antonio Brown has been the only player on the offense that has been consistently good. Yesterday, he had 10 receptions on 19 targets for 157 yards. Still you can’t blame him for being frustrated with the offense. About that…


Ben Roethlisberger/The offense/The offensive line/Playcalling

Where do we begin with the offense? Let’s start with Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, he had one of the worst days of his career – 5 interceptions, 2 resulting in pick-6. But not all of them were his fault as 2 of them were deflected. That makes 3 interceptions that were his fault.
Ben has been off all year – poor decisions, inaccurate throws. Is he now too old? Even he said after the game :Maybe I don’t have it anymore”. He probably doesn’t mean that, but what if it’s true? What if his skills have greatly diminished? What does this team do now?
How about the play calling? The Jaguars were LAST in the league in run defense and FIRST in pass defense. So what do the Steelers do? They pass mostly. Le’Veon Bell had 15 rushes. Part of that was dictated by being behind, but that’s still not enough.

The criticism of the play calling is that they’re not throwing downfield enough and utilizing Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. Whose fault is that? Ben? The wide receivers? Todd Haley? Is it because there are too many weapons and Haley is trying to make everyone happy? Is it because Haley is more concerned with showing how smart he is rather than calling the most effective play?

What about the offensive line? This is supposed to be one of the best offensive lines in the league but we haven’t seen that yet consistently.

So how does the offense get fixed? Maybe realize Ben isn’t in his prime. Maybe it’s not worrying about making everyone happy and simplifying the offense. There is way too much talent on the offense to be this bad.

Martavis Bryant

At the beginning of the year I said Bryant was the key to this offense because his deep threat can take the pressure off Antonio Brown. That hasn’t happened. So far this year Bryant has 10 receptions for 183 yards and 1 touchdown. That’s not good enough. Part of that is on Ben, but Bryant is not getting it done.

Run Defense

The defense has been mostly good this year, and we wouldn’t talk about it at all if they offense did their job, but this was another game where the run defense was awful. The Jaguars had 231 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns. Leonard Fournette had 181 yards.

Why is this happening? It’s not talent. This is the most talented defense the Steelers have had in years. It has to be experience. The linebackers lost two veterans in Lawrence Timmons and James Harrison. Most of the problems seem to be the defense being too aggressive which causes big holes. This is a problem that can be corrected, but it’s pretty embarrassing when the other team can run effectively even in obvious running situations.

Week 5 DFS Targets

Nathan Smith

Sunday October 8th, 2017

Week 5 DFS Targets

This article is intended to help DraftKings players find an edge in lineup construction. Identifying good players to use is only half the battle; I break down situations and matchups to take advantage of in week 5.


If I’m paying up at QB this week, I’m looking strictly at the showdown in Dallas with the Packers and Cowboys. Aaron Rodgers (8100) will almost certainly be missing emerging star running back Ty Montgomery this week. With Green Bay’s offense shifting more to the pass, and this game projecting to be extremely high scoring, Rodgers makes a fantastic tournament option. This could be the week where he scores 40 points. Dak Prescott (6800) offers nearly the same point per dollar upside as Rodgers. It’s hard to justify locking either QB into your lineup, but it certainly makes sense to have exposure to one or both of them.

In week 5, I believe QB choice should come down to roster construction. I wouldn’t jeopardize the spot of an elite running back, just to jam a top quarterback in. What this means is if I had to choose between having Rodgers or having two elite running backs, I would choose the latter.

A very interesting tournament strategy that has been very successful lately is paying all the way down at quarterback. Last week, Deshaun Watson (6200) was an excellent play as he topped 30 points at just over 5K on DraftKings. He remains in play this week, but only in primetime as he is not on the main slate. In week 3, I had success playing Jacoby Grissett (5600). I didn’t think he was that great of a quarterback, but the opportunity he had to pay off his price tag against a bad defense in a great matchup was too juicy to ignore. This same type of logic leads us to consider guys in week 5 such as Josh McCown (4500), Brian Hoyer (4700), and Jared Goff (5300). I would’ve included Jay Cutler (5200) in that list, but I legitimately cannot recommend him to anybody, ever.

Running Back

This week is one of those times you will want to pay up for elite talent in good matchups. Ownership percentage on the top three running backs won’t matter one bit to me. I will be jamming Le’Veon Bell (9500), Ezekiel Elliott (8800), and Todd Gurley II (8000) in as many lineups as possible. Each one of them has a favorable matchup, including the usage hog Gurley, who can take advantage of an overrated Seahawks defense.

Guys such as LeSean McCoy (7800), Carlos Hyde (6900), Bilal Powell (6200) are not going to find their way on to too many of my teams this week. This says more about how much I love the top three running backs than anything, as I certainly don’t think McCoy, Hyde, or Powell are bad plays. Out of the bunch, Carlos Hyde is my favorite. I would much rather play Hyde in a bigger tournament or a qualifier, due to his injury risk and the fact that I just love the elite running backs so much this week. Melvin Gordon (6000) is too cheap for the amount of usage gets, but I generally shy away from high usage dependent players that are traveling cross country to play in a road game.

In the lower tier, there are actually several very intriguing options to consider. Duke Johnson Jr. (4900) receives an incredible number of targets out of the backfield for the Browns, who take on the Jets in a plus matchup. When targeting lower priced running backs, I always love to look for those that get a fair amount of receiving work. I happen to disagree with Vegas on this game, as I expect upwards of 50 points to be scored. There will almost certainly be multiple low-priced players out performing their price tag in this game, as we’ve already covered Johnson Jr. and McCown. Another running back to consider besides Johnson is Bilal Powell’s teammate, Elijah McGuire (4300). This is a complete shot in the dark, but McGuire does appear to have a decent future ahead of him. Unfortunately, McGuire’s small sample size prevents me from being able to confidently recommend using him a lot, although I will sneak him in a lineup or two.

Other cheap running backs in exploitable matchups and/or situations are Andre Ellington (4600), Alex Collins (4000), Wayne Gallman (3900), and J.D. McKissic (3200). McKissic is in a very interesting spot, as the Seahawks have already lost Chris Carson to IR and ruled out C.J. Prosise for Sunday’s matchup against the Rams. McKissic is a pass catching back who actually did well as recently as last week, when he stepped in for the injured Carson and Prosise. McKissic already smashed his price tag last week, as the former Arkansas State receiver was able to score on the ground and through the air last week against a soft Colts’ defense. Add in the fact that the Rams have been among the league’s worst in defending running backs, and we have ourselves a possible recipe for fantasy goodness.

I have three running backs in a unique category. These are guys that I don’t generally find myself playing, but I can’t get over how underpriced they are. DeMarco Murray (5400), Ameer Abdullah (4700), and LeGarrette Blount (4200) are all guys that could end up getting 20+ touches on their way to a surprisingly good fantasy day. They may profile as a great way to pivot off one of the cheaper running backs listed above. Frank Gore (4400) is in “Jay Cutler territory for me”. The matchup seems right to play him (especially in a revenge spot), but I just don’t know if I can confidently recommend playing him.

Wide Receiver

I have a lot of wide receivers on my radar that are long shots or game theory plays. These guys are just as likely to bust as they are to boom. For instance, I have no issue with targeting literally anybody that will see playing time in the Packers vs. Cowboys game. But when it comes to my confident plays this week, there are three guys I’ll focus on getting into almost all of my lineups. Dez Bryant (6500), DeVante Parker (6600), and T.Y. Hilton (6000) stand out as close to must plays for me this week.

DeVante Parker steps into the same matchup that DeAndre Hopkins exploded in last week. The Titans’ defense loves to focus on stopping the run, leaving them vulnerable in outside coverage against elite receivers. Many people are already aware of the opportunity Parker has, as both he and Jarvis Landry (5800) soak up so many targets from Jay Cutler. This could be Parker’s coming out party, for those who don’t already view him as a talented receiver. His price tag of 6600 is definitely reasonable, and will likely rise in the coming weeks. It seems too obvious to me to target him now, in a great matchup, before his salary increases.

Dez Bryant might be my favorite play of the week. He has had an insanely difficult stretch of four games to start the year, in terms of his WR/CB matchups. The Packers have not had much success stopping the pass in recent years, and Dez has had success in this matchup before. With this game profiling as a likely shootout, there is little to no reason for me not to have Dez Bryant on pretty much all of my teams. His ownership could reach 30% in many tournaments, but I really don’t care. I am confident that I can find other ways to differentiate my lineup, and I’ll gladly eat the chalk to play Dez Bryant at his bargain price of only 6500. To put it simply: Is Dez at home? Yes. Does he have a good individual matchup? Yes. Does Vegas like the Cowboys to score a lot of points? Yes. Is Dez under 7K? Yes. All signs point to go; even if Dez is 40% owned, I will stake my advantage on the field by having him in 80-100% of my lineups.

T.Y. Hilton has only had one eye-popping game so far this year, as he exploded for 31.3 points in week 3 against the Browns. However, a deep dive into his matchups shows that he faced scenarios that were unlikely to yield big games. He struggled to find chemistry with QB Scott Tolzien in week 1, faced Patrick Peterson in week 2, and faced the 12th man in week 4. Coming back home, Hilton has as good a chance as ever to go off against a team vulnerable to the pass. Even if the 49ers game plan to stop the long bomb to Hilton, T.Y. has proven he is capable of catching a short to medium pass and eluding defenders on his way to the end zone. This video shows us one of many times that Hilton was able to turn an average play into a game changing touchdown:

Tight End & Defense

For these two positions, I am hesitant to lock anybody on to all my lineups. Rather than breakdown potential opportunities to exploit, I am listing some of my favorite plays. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (3500), Hunter Henry (3800), & Evan Engram (4000) are all in good spots this week.

On defense, if I’m paying up I want to target the Steelers (3900) & Lions (3200). If I’m looking to save a couple hundred, I am very comfortable pivoting to the Ravens (2900) & Eagles (3100).

#PlugPlayers of the Week

My favorite players for week 5 are clear to me. Here are the players I am most likely to plug into the majority of my DraftKings lineups:

  • Dez Bryant (6500)
  • Todd Gurley (8000)
  • LeVeon Bell (9500)
  • DeVante Parker (6600)

Bonus GPP Only Plays

  • Duke Johnson (4900)
  • J.D. McKissic (3200)
  • Elijah McGuire (4300)

Fades of the Week


Best of luck this week on all your DFS contests, and remember to always trust your research process. The Sports Talk has you covered for the latest NFL content. Find us on twitter:

The Sports Talk

Nathan Smith

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 5 Preview vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Steelers made a major statement in the AFC North last week, defeating the Ravens 26-9 in Baltimore. Le’Veon Bell returned to form, rushing for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. They face a 2-2 Jaguars team that was upset by the Jets last week in overtime. They feature a strong defense and running game.

Let’s look at the matchups

Jaguars Offense vs. Steelers Defense

The Jaguars are a team of opposites on offense and defense. On offense, they have a great running attack featuring Leonard Fournette. They have the 2nd best run offense in the league. The Steelers run defense has been inconsistent at best. The Jaguars passing game, however, is 29th and the Steelers pass defense has been very good.

Edge: Steelers

Steelers Offense vs. Jaguars Defense

Jacksonville has the worst rush defense in the league in yards per game (163.5) and yards per carry (5.7). The Steelers finally got their running game going last week in Baltimore, rushing for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. The pass defense, on the other hand, is awesome. They are number 1 in passing yards allowed per game. But, is this because their run defense is so bad? The Steelers passing attack has been average so far, but they have the potential to have a huge game, especially at home.

Edge: Steelers

Game Prediction

The Steelers should be able to run well and control the ball for most of the game. The Steelers run defense isn’t great, but should be good enough. The Jaguars hope to emulate what the Bears did to the Steelers in Week 3, but you have to think the Steelers defense has improved. Steelers win in a low-scoring battle.

Steelers 22, Jaguars 13

Week 5 NFL Game Predictions


Ismael Diaz 30-17
Nick LoPrinzi 27-20
Joe Toscano 27-20

New England Patriots vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Nick LoPrinzi

The highest Vegas total on the week goes to this game. The Patriots will be involved in a shootout, yet again. They have the #1 offense, but the #32 defense. Tom Brady is playing like an MVP, but he needs his defense to step it up. The Buccaneers are getting Doug Martin back this week, after he missed the first three weeks due to suspension. The Patriots will have a tough time stopping Mike Evans, while the Bucs will not stop Rob Gronkowski. However, Brady is the x-factor.

Score: Patriots 35, Buccaneers 30

Joe Toscano

Yes, the Patriots are struggling and are on the road on a short week. But, I can’t see them going under .500.

Score: Patriots 35, Buccaneers 28

Ismael Diaz

Another week filled by surprising results, one being the Pats losing at home against the Panthers.  The Bucs however squeaked by win a 2 point win against the Giants. This could possibly be another week full of upsets and close games. The Pats defense have been absolutely been atrocious, surrendering over 300+ passing yards in each of their first 4 games. I see them turning a page here, maybe still allowing 300+ passing yards, but not letting them score at will like they have been lately. It’ll be close, but Brady will find a way to expose that young secondary of the Bucs and will grab a win in Tampa.

Score: Patriots 30, Buccaneers 27

Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Nick LoPrinzi

The Bills are coming off a very impressive win against the Atlanta Falcons last week. The Bills are allowing the least amount of points per game, while the Bengals are not far behind as they are allowing the 3rd least amount of points per game. Safe to say this is going to be a low scoring affair. The Key for both teams is going to be their rushing attacks. Jeremy Hill, Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard have not looked very good for the Bengals. LeSean McCoy has not looked great either, but he is the more talented back.

Score: Bills 17, Bengals 13

Joe Toscano

I’m not buying that the Bills are an elite team. The Bengals are not so great either, but they are at home.

Score: Bengals 23, Bills 19

Ismael Diaz

Bills pulled out another upset, this time beating the Falcons in Atlanta. The Bengals are heading into the right direction in terms of their offense, but it hasn’t been much to talk about. I see LeSean McCoy having a big game here for the Bills, helping the Bills get a win in Cincy.

Score: Bills 27, Bengals 24

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns

Nick LoPrinzi

Talk about an ugly game. Both offenses are scoring less than 20 points per game, but both defenses are giving up at least 23 points per game. The Jets had a dynamic rushing attack last week with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire. These two combined for 256 rushing yards, 75 receiving yards, 6 receptions and two touchdowns. However, the Browns are 8th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game and even though the Jets have been dreadful against the run, the Browns cannot run the ball. Therefore, I think this game will come down to quarterback play. I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I trust Josh McCown more than DeShone Kizer. Kizer has already thrown 8 interceptions and the Jets are 7th in the league in passing yards allowed.

Score: Jets 23, Browns 18

Joe Toscano

I thought this would be a battle of winless teams. One of them actually has hope.

Score: Jets 21, Browns 17

Ismael Diaz

Anyone expect the Jets to beat the Jaguars last week after what the Jags did a week before against the Ravens in London? I sure didn’t, but I expect the Browns to lose against the Bengals last week. Can the Browns get their first win at home against the Jets? I’ll say no. I think the Jets run all over the Browns D and will stifle Kizer enough to slow them down. Jets win this one.

Score: Jets 28, Browns 23

Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions

Nick LoPrinzi

I am not fully sold on Cam Newton‘s ability this year. He had a great game against the Patriots, but their defense has looked horrendous. Matthew Stafford has not performed up to his ability yet either, but the Lions look like the real deal as a whole. Ameer Abdullah finally came alive with 20 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown last week against a very good Vikings defense. The pass defense needs to improve for the Lions, but they have been very good against the run. Playing in Detroit gives the Lions the advantage.

Score: Lions 17, Panthers 13

Joe Toscano

Are the Panthers back? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not buying that the Lions are an elite team.

Score: Panthers 21, Lions 20

Ismael Diaz

Lions scored just 14 points last week and still managed to beat the Vikings on the road. Their defense seems to be more tougher than I anticipated, although still having some flaws. Cam Newton had a break-out game last week, think we see a small percentage of that in a losing effort. I’ll take Stafford and the Lions here.

Score: Lions 30, Panthers 23

San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts

Nick LoPrinzi

I said the Jets and Browns game will be ugly, but this will be the ugliest game of the week. Two teams who are just playing atrocious football. Both teams are towards the end of the league in every offensive category. The difference for the two is their defense. The Colts are real, real bad on the defensive end. The 49ers are right in the middle of the pack on the defensive side of the ball. Carlos Hyde will have a huge game if he suits up Sunday and Brian Hoyer will be serviceable enough to get the job done.

Score: 49ers 28, Colts 20

Joe Toscano

Both teams are just awful. The Colts have the edge because they’re at home.

Score: Colts 25, 49ers 19

Ismael Diaz
The Niners lost a close one in OT against the Cardinals and have lost the last 3 games by a combined 9 points. The Colts, on the other hand, got mauled on the road against the Seahawks on Sunday night football. I just don’t trust the niners defense against the few weapons the Colts have, including Frank Gore and T.Y. Hilton. Jacoby Brissett should easily get down the field and give them a chance to put up some points, leading to a win at home.

Score: Colts 26, 49ers 21

Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins

Nick LoPrinzi

Will Marcus Mariota play? That will be a huge factor. The Dolphins scored 6 points against the Jets, then got shutout by the Saints! Jay Cutler looks like he just robbed money from the Dolphins and Jay Ajayi looks like he has lost his magic from last year, or he may be hurt. The Titans defense has been atrocious. They are allowing 31.5 points per game! However, the Dolphins offense has been just as bad as they are only scoring 8.3 points per game. Oh boy. This is going to come down to Titans offense vs. Dolphins defense. I think Mariota will play and lead his team to victory.

Score: Titans 20, Dolphins 17

Joe Toscano

It won’t help the Titans that Marcus Mariota probaby won’t start. The Dolphins can’t be as bad as they’ve looked so far.

Score: Dolphins 28, Titans 13

Ismael Diaz

Both the Titans and the Dolphins left Week 4 very unhappy with the results, with the Titans being man-handled by the Texans in Houston and the Dolphins getting shut-out by the Saints in London. I honestly don’t know which of those were more shocking. The Miami offense looks out of sync and have almost no rhythm and I think the Titans take advantage of that. I still see it ending in a close one, Mariota has his way in this game.

Score: Titans 28, Dolphins 20

Los Angeles Chargers vs. New York Giants

Nick LoPrinzi

Well, I was wrong that both of these teams were not going to fall to 0-4. However, they play each other this week and someone has to win … Right? Eli Manning has actually played very well over the past two games. He has thrown for 654 yards and 5 touchdowns over those past two games. However, the drops between both Brandon Marshall and Odell Beckham have not been helping. Neither team can run the ball, but neither team can defend the run. This is going to be another ugly game for these teams, but I think the Giants being on their home turf gives them the advantage.

Score: Giants 24, Chargers 23

Joe Toscano

The Dumpster Fire Bowl. Giants finally win a game.

Score: Giants 31, Chargers 23

Ismael Diaz

A battle between two winless teams, who both are not your typical winless teams considering some of the talent they have. Giants lost another close one last week after fighting to stay in it. They go on to face another team with a struggling secondary, which is good for OBJ and company. I see the Chargers putting up a fight, but will end up losing by a TD.

Score: Giants 31, Chargers 24

Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Nick LoPrinzi

The Cardinals were lucky to squeak a win out last week against a bad 49ers team, while the Eagles are looking like one of the best teams in the NFC. After struggling to run the ball in their first two games, the Eagles have found a rushing attack with Wendell Smallwood and LeGarrette Blount and they now have the third most rushing yards per game. However, they cannot stop the pass and all the Cardinals offense can do is throw the ball. I think Carson Palmer is in for a big game and Arizona’s defense is good enough to shut down the Eagles well balanced attack.

Score: Cardinals 27, Eagles 24

Joe Toscano

I don’t buy that the Eagles are an elite team, but they are at home and Arizona has a long way to travel.

Score: Eagles 30, Cardinals 14

Ismael Diaz

The Eagles have been playing some good football this season, their only loss coming from the Chiefs on the road. The Cardinals just don’t have it this year and wins will be hard to come by. I can see the Eagles defense keeping the Cards under 20 points, paving the way for their offense to have enough time to put up over 30.

Score: Eagles 31, Cardinals 17

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Nick LoPrinzi

The Steelers started to look like the team we have all been waiting for last week. They dominated their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. Le’Veon Bell rushed 35 times for 144 yards and two touch downs. On top of that, he added 4 receptions for 42 yards. The defense forced Joe Flacco to throw two interceptions, while forcing three fumbles all together. They only let the Ravens score 9 points. The Jaguars looked bad as they lost to the Jets in overtime. Blake Bortles looked horrible and they could not stop the run game at all, letting up big play after big play. The only bright spot for them was rookie running back, Leonard Fournette. Good luck trying to stop Bell this week, Jaguars.

Score: Steelers 30, Jaguars 20

Joe Toscano

The Jaguars look impressive so far, but they’re going to Pittsburgh and the Steelers are close to firing on all cylinders.

Score: Steelers 28, Jaguars 17

Ismael Diaz

Roethlisberger + Heinz field usually equals good news for Steelers fans as he typically plays a lot better there. Le’Veon Bell looked like him old-self again and had a tremendous game. I see Big Ben and Bell both having big games, even playing that tough Jaguars defense.

Score: Steelers 30, Jaguars 20

Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams

Nick LoPrinzi

I think this is going to be one of the best games this Sunday. Who would have though that at the beginning of the year? The Seahawks were losing to the Colts, 15-10, at halftime last week. However, they put up 38 points in the second half en route to an easy win. Russell Wilson scored three touchdowns in the second half, two passing and one rushing. If they start slow in the first half against the Rams, this game might be over quick. The Rams are easily an all around better team than the Colts and they are coming off an impressive win over the Cowboys in Dallas. Todd Gurley is looking unstoppable right now. He already has 7 total touchdowns and 626 total yards on the year. His biggest problem has been his 4 fumbles, he has to fix that if he wants to be the complete package. This is going to be a tight one in LA. I think Seattle’s tough D gives them the slight edge.

Score: Seahawks 20, Rams 17

Joe Toscano

There are a number of teams that are a suprise at 3-1. I don’t think the Rams can win this even though they’re at home.

Score: Seahawks 24, Rams 20

Ismael Diaz

The Rams and Todd Gurley picked a win against the Cowboys last week, showing how good their offense can be. Seattle wasn’t really tested last week, but they surely will this week when they go to LA. The Rams just have looked better than the Seahawks and typically give them problems when they play them at home. Rams win by a field-goal.

Score: Rams 27, Seahawks 24

Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders

Nick LoPrinzi

The loss of Derek Carr is huge for the Raiders. They were already having problems in the passing games as Amari Cooper has had a bad case of the drops, while Michael Crabtree cannot stay on the field. EJ Manuel is bad and Marshawn Lynch has not been impressive at all this year. The Raiders have also been gashed by the run allowing the 24th most rushing yards per game. They will be going up against the Ravens, who have no looked good lately, but they do have the 9th best rushing attack per league in terms of yards per game. I’m not sure if they will be able to stop Alex Collins and Javorius Allen.

Score: Ravens 17, Raiders 14

Joe Toscano

The Ravens have been exposed for having a horrible offense. Even though EJ Manuel is starting for Derek Carr, the Raiders will have no problems with this one.

Score: Raiders 29, Ravens 9

Ismael Diaz

The Raiders took a big blow last night by not only losing for the 2nd straight week, this time on the road against Denver, but they also are losing Derek Carr for 2-4 weeks. They turn to EJ Manuel to help them get a win. The Ravens offense is just a ball of ugliness and I see Manuel putting up enough to win a low-scoring game.

Score: Raiders 20, Ravens 16

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Nick LoPrinzi

The Cowboys are beginning to get exposed week after week. Their offensive line is not as dominant as last year and that is their biggest problem. Their defense is not very good, besides Demarcus Lawrence. They are going to have a real tough time stopping Aaron Rodgers, but the Packers will have a tough time stopping Ezekiel Elliott. This game will come down to, who will stop who first. I think the Packers will stack the box and force Dak Prescott to throw it deep, which he will fail to do.

Score: Packers 33, Cowboys 28

Joe Toscano

This should be good. Even though it’s in Dallas, the Cowboys have a lot of problems and they’ll be exposed.

Score: Packers 38, Cowboys 23

Ismael Diaz

Last time the Packers were in “Jerry World”, they pulled off a comeback win in the playoffs to end the Cowboys’ season. I see Rodgers exposing that piss-poor Dallas defense, with the help of Jordy Nelson. It’ll be another great game between these two teams with Green Bay coming out on top.

Score: Packers 30, Cowboys 27

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans

Nick LoPrinzi

Will the Chiefs be given their first loss of the year? Can the Texans stop Kareem Hunt? Hunt is averaging a whopping 7.38 yards per carry this year! That is incredible. The Texans defense has been very good this year. As a whole, they were tremendous last week in their dominant victory over the Titans. Can Deshaun Watson match that against the Chiefs this week? I think the Chiefs will force the Texans to use Lamar Miller more and he will struggle against a much better Chiefs defense. The Chiefs stay undefeated.

Score: Chiefs 28, Texans 23

Joe Toscano

Are the Chiefs for real? They’re looking great so far, but they have a short week and are on the road.

Score: Texans 19, Chiefs 17

Ismael Diaz

The Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL right now, and I think they’ll stay that way. Alex Smith is looking better than ever and Kareem Hunt is just a straight beast. Don’t think the Texans have the same success they did last week, and will fall short in this one.

Score: Chiefs 28, Texans 24

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears

Nick LoPrinzi

Reports have it that Sam Bradford is back at practice this week. That is a great sign for the Vikings and the extra day should allow Bradford to get back into game action this week. The Vikings have lost Dalvin Cook for the year, which is a huge loss. However, I think Latavius Murray is about to surprise a lot of people. Mitch Trubisky gets his first start against a superb Vikings defense on national TV on Monday Night Football. Tough spot for the rookie to be in in his first game out.

Score: Vikings 24, Bears 17

Joe Toscano

How will the Vikings cope without Dalvin Cook? How will Mitch Trubisky do in his debut? The Vikings defense is tough, but there’s something about a quarterback making his debut.

Score: Bears 24, Vikings 23

Ismael Diaz

The Vikings offense disappeared after they dominated the Bucs the week before and the Bears once again looked awful prompting them to make a QB change. The Vikings lost Dalvin Cook, but still have Latavius Murray who is good enough to start with them. The Vikings D will just not let rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky breathe, forcing him into a few mistakes. Low-scoring game on Monday night goes to Minnesota.

Score: Vikings 21, Bears 14

NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 4-0 (No Change)
  2. Green Bay Packers 3-1 (Up 2)
  3. Atlanta Falcons 3-1 (Down 1)
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-1 (Up 2)
  5. Denver Broncos 3-2 (Up 3)
  6. New England Patriots 2-2 (Down 3)
  7. Detroit Lions 3-1 (Up 3)
  8. Philadelphia Eagles 3-1 (Up 3)
  9. Seattle Seahawks 2-2 (Up 5)
  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-1 (Up 2)
  11. Carolina Panthers 3-1 (Up 5)
  12. Los Angeles Rams 3-2 (Up 5)
  13. Dallas Cowboys 2-2 (Down 4)
  14. Buffalo Bills 3-1 (Up 4)
  15. Tennessee Titans 2-2 (Down 8)
  16. Oakland Raiders 2-2 (Down 11)
  17. Minnesota Vikings 2-2 (Down 4)
  18. Washington Redskins 2-2 (Down 3)
  19. New Orleans Saints 2-2 (Up 4)
  20. Arizona Cardinals 2-2 (Up 2)
  21. Houston Texans 2-2 (Up 6)
  22. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-2 (Down 2)
  23. Baltimore Ravens 2-2 (Down 5)
  24. New York Jets 2-2 (Up 4)
  25. Miami Dolphins 1-2 (Down 4)
  26. Cincinnati Bengals 1-3 (Up 4)
  27. New York Giants 0-4 (Down 3)
  28. Chicago Bears 1-3 (Down 3)
  29. Los Angeles Chargers 0-4 (Down 3)
  30. Indianapolis Colts 1-3 (Down 1)
  31. San Francisco 49ers 0-4 (Up 1)
  32. Cleveland Browns 0-4 (Down 1)